Mailport June 2012 Issue

Mailport: June 2012

USCG registration Fees

In the May 2012 article on boat loan financing, you quoted $530 as the approximate cost of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) documentation. In 2007, when my boat partner and I documented our boat, we were also quoted $530 as the cost of documentation by our insurer. However, in spite of being a “formaphobe,” I found it quite easy to do it directly with the Coast Guard for $92, and it took less than an hour. The cost was $84 for the application and $8 per page for any additional pages. You can find it by Googling “NVDC” (National Vessel Documentation Center) or phoning 800/799-8362. I found both the website and all the USCG folks very helpful.

Joel Block

Chinook, Sabre 34 MK II

Chaumont, N.Y.

Thanks for the tip. Boat buyers whose insurer quotes more than $150 for attaining the documentation for them can look into doing it themselves via the website, The base charge for an initial documentation certificate is $133; it costs $84 to get an exchange certificate.


However, when a boat is financed, most lenders require that an approved USCG documentation agent be engaged to handle the process to ensure accuracy and timeliness. According to Peggy Bodenreider, director of the National Marine Bankers Association, these lender-approved USCG documentation agents carry professional liability insurance and are members of the American Vessel Documentation Association (AVDA), which works closely with the NVDC on issues that could impact the process. As with any business, the USCG documentation agents provide their services for a fee.


Bodenreider explained, “The fee is not an inflated fee, but a charge for a service that assures the seller, buyer, and lender that all is in order with the title documents on a boat purchase.”


Check out the AVDA website for more information:

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Comments (1)

This is one reason the boat yard we use (burr bros boats) offers stainless steel penants in addition to the generous sized regular penants during hurricane season. In Irene last year, BBB lost no boats (including ours), where other boats did break free from other moorings. After the hurricane we notices some varnish wore through under the chock on the side of the boat with the nylon penant (and made a minor cut in the penant), but no damage on the side with the stainless penant (as it is very stiff and stands out from the chock). Great service from the boat yard! Probably will pull the boat next time to reduce the stress level!

Very good tips and information on nylon lines!

Posted by: Phantomracer | May 23, 2012 1:53 PM    Report this comment

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